Preparing for an Iron Butt

Posted in: Bike Trip by admin on October 01, 2008

An IronButt is a series of rides orchestrated by the Iron Butt Association or IBA.  They test the physical capability’s of a motorcycle rider with their numerous endurance certifications.  I specifically will be attempting the most common (and easiest) SaddleSore & Bunburner. These rides are 1000 miles in under 24 hours / 1500 miles in under 36 hours respectively.

Preparing for endurance rides is critical to ensure most importantly safety, and also a successful completion.

Mostly I have been preparing by riding every day I can, and my longest trip being 545Mi.  Whenever there is a nuance to my comfort, I correct it.  When you ride that long and hard, a minor thing can turn into a real big problem.

The trip.

I fell into some vacation time that I needed to use or lose, so I decided to take a week off and “go somewhere”.  One thing led to another and I decided to use this opportunity to scratch a couple items off my bucket list.  First being ride to Key West, FL on my bike, and second being ride 1000 miles in 24 hours.

The first 2 legs of the trip will be to accomplish the SaddleSore & Bunburner, after that is completed, I can take it easy and really vacation because I will be in Florida on my bike.  I plan on saving money by stopping at relatives and friends houses along the way, not counting the 2 mights in Key West.

Bike Preparations.

Having a well maintained Motorcycle is a requirement for a 3,600mi trip.  Fresh tuneup, oil change, and maybe a wash right before the trip is pretty common here.  Also important is the farkles, or accessories for the bike to accommodate extended riding.  I already installed handlebar extenders to relax my posture, and I plan on adding a couple wind deflectors for comfort, reflectors for safety, and possibly electric clothing because it could be quite cold on the last day of the trip in New England (Oct. 19th).

Rider Preparations.

Knowing your limits is key here.  If you get drowsy or sore it is distracting and dangerous.  Some riders take daily vitamins, some take aspirin, some forgo caffeine and trust a proper nights sleep.  I will use my best judgement and try them all except aspirin (but pack it just in case).

Taking longer and longer trips is really the best way to prepare for such a trip.  You will learn from your mistakes and every ride becomes easier and easier.

Also adding “Rest” days into the trip is important.  Riders ability to ride long trips diminish with each day.  So just because you were fine after a 1000mi trip does not mean you can do it 11 days in a row.  I’m not saying its imposable (there is actually a IronButt ralley for that), just don’t expect it.  Plus Rest days give your trip some flexibility in case the unexpected happens and you lose a day.

Trip Preparations.

The trip prep’ depends on the type, date, and location of the trip so there is some universial tips to share, but most of it is common sense.  I recommend talking to other riders in forums or at clubs to ask suggestions.  My trip in particular is very dependent on the weather due to it being mid October.  And if I want to get 1000 miles in a day on the east coast, I need to study traffic patterns to avoid common congestion areas.

To tackle the weather I will simply Dress Right.  No butts about it.  Being cold sucks, and freezing is just plain dangerous on the highway.  I am considering electric clothing, but fear the investment of $400 will get little use, so I will probibly layer cloths.  Once I hit Virginia the lows will be in the 50’s which is fine for my normal apparel, but on the way back the stretch from Virginia to Mass is a concern.  Hell, it could Snow!

Accidents stopping traffic are unpredictable, but luckily Google can show you the average congestion for the day of the week and hour you choose!  You will see the 1000 mile leg to Caper Corel, FL splits away from the east shore, this is to avoid the congestion perdicted here.


It is good to estimate high for your costs and think about if this trip is right for you.  I will be saving money by staying with friends and relatives which helps a lot.  But food on the road is not cheap, and gas prices are painful this year.  Sometimes you need to decide what is more important, saving money, or enjoying life!

I estimated gas costs by taking the total miles and dividing it by the average MPG of my bike and multiplying that by the cost per gallon of gas.  (Mi/MPG)Gas$=estimated cost of fuel.

I estimated food costs by simply $44 a day.  Its simple and a good estimate for eating on the road (excluding cities and rest stops on toll roads).


This is suppose to be your vacation.  Have fun, plan stops at major landmarks.  Don’t just blow them all by, they might not be there when you try to return years later.

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  1. WAY TO GO LITTLE BRO!!! Be safe and have a great trip!!
    Much Love, Your Sis

    Comment by Donna — October 6, 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  2. my uncle got stomach ulcers because he took a lot of Aspirin to take care of his high blood pressure.~;.

    Comment by Hailey Hall — May 19, 2010 @ 10:51 pm

  3. aspirin is a good anti-inflammatory still in use today. -:*

    Comment by Carson Washington — June 20, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

  4. That’s truly a amazing publish ! Added to my favourite blogs list.. I have been reading your blog site final couple of weeks and get pleasure from each and every bit. Thanks.

    Comment by Daisy Hansard — November 20, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

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